Plantar fasciitis used to be a big mysterious disease a decade ago when doctors couldn’t really determine why people developed it. This disorder is actually quite common and causes inflammation or scarring in the thick band of connective tissue that extends from the heel of the foot towards the toes. The anatomical purpose of this plantar fascia is to support the arch of the foot.     The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include sharp heel pain that hurts excruciatingly when the person  takes a step especially when first getting out of bed in the morning, arch pain and foot fatigue. Heavy  activity causes muscle inflammation and worsens the condition.   In this information age and with the advent of orthotics science, it’s increasingly clear that the foot has  its own biomechanics that needs to be paid attention to. Let’s take the example of someone who has flat feet. When standing on flat feet, the arch of the feet collapses. This strains the muscles of the feet. There are over a hundred muscles in the foot. Imagine how tired you get after spending a few hours working out your arm muscles in the gym. Then imagine how tired your feet feel after walking all day – all the muscles of the foot were overworked when you have flat feet. This is where the pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis comes from – all the tired and overworked muscles of the feet.   The flat foot is called a flexible foot because the medial longitudinal arch of the foot collapses with each step. This is evident when you watch it occur in a mirror (if you have flat feet). Your foot spreads out. In a neutral arched foot this does not happen.   Now guess what happens when you add arched soles to the picture. Arched soles is a nickname for arched insoles. The arch stays in its proper place with the arched soles because they act as if they’re a crutch for the foot. The medial arch can’t support itself and leans on the arched soles for support. Now the muscles of the foot don’t tire out and there’s no inflammation at the level there was before.   The arched soles really came in to save the day. And actually they did because now the person with plantar fasciitis doesn’t have any pain. It’s the first time in weeks he can walk without pain. And it’s all due to the arched soles.  

Arched Soles Specifically Made for Plantar Fasciitis

  Here are my top picks for the best arched soles for you if you have plantar fasciitis. But do remember that everyone’s feet are different and it’s the act of continuing to look to find the perfect glass slipper that brings success.  
  1. Birkenstock BirkoBalance Arch Support Insoles (for those who don’t have flat feet and still have plantar fasciitis) – http://www.theinsolestore.com/birkenstock-birkobalance-arch-support-insoles.html
  2. ProThotics Comfort Gel Insole – http://www.theinsolestore.com/prothotics-comfort-gel-diabetic-arthritic-plastazote-shoe-insoles.html
  3. Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx Orthotics – http://www.theinsolestore.com/powerstep-pinnacle-maxx-orthotics.html
Sole Insulated Ultra Custom Footbeds – http://www.theinsolestore.com/sole-insulated-ultra-custom-footbeds.html
Birkenstock Blue Footbed Casual Arch Support Insoles

Orthotic companies have all wised up to what is essential on how to more than adequately support the foot ergonomically. They realized quite a few things in the past decade that have now become the science of orthotics. Some of them include:

  1. The plain cushioning in the best insoles of the past may have made feet feel good for the first few times these insoles were worn, but they do nothing to prevent foot pain in the future.
  2. The hard materials used in the best Orthotic inserts of the past can be replaced by more pliable yet sturdy orthotics of today.
  3. If an Orthotic is not created to anatomically fit the foot, then the pounding of the foot on the pavement will be enough to start creating foot issues from poor alignment.
  4. The arch height for a foot that is flat is a lot different than the arch height for a foot that is high or medium.
  5. Different sports have different Orthotic requirements to be considered one of the best Orthotic inserts.
  6. And more!
  What gives an Orthotic insert the title holder to “one of the best Orthotic inserts”? It’s actually a combination of these five things:  
  1. Arch support that matches your feet perfectly
  2. Heel cup
  3. Metatarsal pad
  4. Cushioning
  5. Antibacterial top coat
  For example, the main features of the  CurrexSole BikePro cycling insoles (http://www.theinsolestore.com/currexsole-bikepro-insoles-low-arch.html) match the five main features of one of the best Orthotic inserts. The company tested them and found that by paying attention to these minimum requirements, cyclists were able to perform better in their sport – with less foot fatigue and greater endurance. When the foot bones are lined up properly, then muscles, tendons and ligaments can act in optimal ways.   These five main features are also found in Birkenstock arch support insoles (See the URL http://www.theinsolestore.com/birkenstock-birkobalance-arch-support-insoles.html) However, some of the best Orthotic inserts will include other features. In the Birkenstock arch support insoles, you’ll find high flanges.   These are like side rails for the foot to prevent the foot from veering off to the left or the right. They control the movement of the foot, especially important because many people will excessively pronate or excessively supinate their feet while walking or running. The high flanges give these orthotics a unique look – they appear as taco shells. Your feet go inside the taco shell and simulate the meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese.   A silk lining is another added feature of some of the best Orthotic inserts from Birkenstock, such as in the Birkenstock Blue Footbeds. These also have an anti-slip moleskin bottom coat. All Birkenstock orthotics are hand washable. Here’s the link to the Birkenstock Blue Footbeds: [caption id="attachment_3037" align="alignright" width="150"]Birkenstock Blue Footbeds Birkenstock Blue Footbeds[/caption] http://www.theinsolestore.com/birkenstock-blue-footbed-casual-arch-support-insoles.html   However, some of the other best Orthotic inserts may use other natural substances to enhance foot comfort. Some of these substances would include merlino wool, angora wool, sheepskin, and leather. The advantages of these materials are their breathability and ability to naturally warm and cool the feet all day long.   You can find the best Orthotic inserts for your feet by starting with this information. If a product doesn’t have the five important requirements, move on to review the next one. You’re looking for the ultimate foot experience by wearing the best Orthotic inserts for you.

It’s good to have an idea what type of products a footwear company produces so you can select the right one for your feet. Otherwise, you are really randomly selecting products and your results with them could be hit or miss.   Interestingly, some people can get away with selecting insoles or orthotics without a lot of investigation; but if you’re anything like me, you know that it’s too easy to have doubt later about a product that was purchased if you didn’t investigate it before, or investigate what exactly your foot needed before you bought it.   For example, the Sof Sole line of products has a complete line of arch supports: • ¾ Orthotic insoles • Airr Orthotic insoles • FIT – Low Arch insoles • FIT – Neutral Arch insoles • FIT – High Arch insoles • Arch Performance Insoles • Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic Insoles   The differences between the Sof Sole products determines whether or not they are the ultimate choice for your feet. Do you know what type of arch you have in your feet? If you have not checked your arch type in a while, it’s a good time to check today.   If you do have low arches or flat feet, it’s possible that the pain and foot fatigue you feel is due to more than just the flat feet. You could also have plantar fasciitis. This is a condition where the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the feet are so fatigued and overstressed that they all hurt. This type of foot pain and fatigue occurs as soon as you get out of bed and especially worsens when you are standing all day on the job or walking long distances.   Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed by a podiatrist, the health professional expert that should be consulted for foot problems. Regular medical doctors don’t have the in-depth knowledge about the feet that a podiatrist has. Regular medical doctors may diagnose you with plantar fasciitis but they will not really have a good plan of action for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. (The podiatrists study nothing but the foot for hundreds of hours, and still are knowledgeable about disease conditions that can be related to the foot, such as neurological disorders and diabetes.)   The Sof Sole line of products also has a complete line of cushioned insoles: • Arch Performance Insoles • Airr Cups • Airr Performance Insoles • Athletic Insoles • Memory Comfort Insoles • Thin Fit Perfect Insoles   Cushioning can be provided in insoles by a company by different types of foam or gel. The above-mentioned Sof insoles are not the gel ones. (The gel ones will be mentioned next.) When foam is used in Sof Sole insoles, it may be heat moldable to your foot. Most gel orthotics or insoles don’t mold to your feet as well as the foam does. Specifically, there’s a type of EVA foam that is used to make insoles heat moldable.   The Sof Sole line of products also has gel insoles: • Ball of Feet Pads • ¾ Gel Arch Insoles • Gel Heel Cups • Airr Cups • Massaging Gel Insoles • Gel Heel Pads   Gel pads come in handy for cushioning every step you take and softening the impact of stepping on any sore areas of the foot.   Check out the Sof Sole Company’s products and see if this company’s mission is aligned with your needs. Here’s the link: http://www.theinsolestore.com/sof-sole-insoles.html

Every footwear company has its own mission and its own direction. Thus, if you understand the bottom line on what the company’s about, this information can help you make better decisions on what type of insoles to buy.   The Sof Sole line is comprised of an entire line of products that are designed to address the “soul” of your feet and offer you comfort and support. The brand offers a complete line of orthotic arch supports and insoles, socks, shoe care and accessories. The insoles are designed for comfort and support and fall into three categories:  The Fit Series, Performance series and Lifestyle series.     In the Fit Series, your foot can stay fit if you first address the arch that’s presently in your foot. Is it a low  arch, a high arch, or a neutral arch? There are different sof sole orthotics and sof sole insoles that you can  choose from to help in this area. However, you should also know that the company created and engineered  its own Sof Sole FIT ID System, which is a way of telling you in 30 seconds flat what type of arch you have.   This Sof Sole FIT ID System is available at some shoe stores.   The FIT High Arch insoles help with pain relief induced by over supination of the feet.   In the Performance series of Sof Sole insoles, you’ll find a ¾ length Orthotic, an Airr Orthotic, an arch Orthotic, sof sole insoles for athletes, and even thin fitting sof sole insoles. The brandline uses Coolmax fiber that keeps feet cool and dry, Microban technology that prevents bacteria from causing foot odor.   In the Lifestyle series of Sof Sole insoles, you can select insoles for plantar fasciitis, gel arches, gel heel cups, gel heel pads, ball of foot pads, and insoles with massaging gel in them, too.   By the way, Sof Sole insoles may be hand washed. After you wash them, air-dry them; don’t use washers and dryers for these products.     The Sof Sole Company opened its doors in 1991 and prides itself on technologically advanced designs plus materials used in their products that offer more comfort, higher functionality, and performance of your feet. Their tagline is that their products strive to become the “Soul of Performance.”   The Sof Sole Company has a soul to it and is known for working with athletes to continually improve their products. Have you ever heard of the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series? Practically every week of the year, there’s another Rock ‘n Roll Marathon event going on, and the company stands ready with performance socks and their Sof sole insoles.   Sof Sole also supports community events such as the Jimmy V Golf Classic, which raises money for cancer research and Toys for Tots in December for the holidays. They also donate sof sole insoles and performance socks to first responders in North Carolina.